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Made in lockdown against an oppressive backdrop, the fragility of freedom was at the heart of the Marni spring/summer 21 collection. Given the pandemic’s effective embargo on physical fashion shows, creative director Francesco Risso enlisted camera-wielding collaborators – 48 models across four continents – to bring the collection to life for MARNIFESTO. Filmed by friends, lovers and family, the resulting presentation was a patchwork quilt of everyday reality that demonstrated just how much stronger we are together. Watched back in September, it was a powerful statement. Watch back today, as hopeful optimism replaces fear and oppression, it’s just as powerful.
From the moment he replaced Consuelo Castiglioni at the helm of the off-kilter luxury label that she built, the Sardinia-born, CSM-educated, Miuccia Prada-trained creative director has personified the fresh energy and sense of excitement that has revived Milan in recent years. His Marni has been youthful, unexpected, thought provoking and fun. This collection took us even deeper as it was a celebration of not just the Marni he loves but the community he is building.
While working on the collection itself, Francesco pulled his most-loved pieces from the archives and cut, pasted and manipulated them into new forms. From a cropped coat, a bathing suit slashed to make a tank top, the frayed edges and deconstructed shapes, the bricolage effect that permeated much of the collection honoured the handmade. Mirroring the moment of their creation, there’s a fragility to the pieces. Elsewhere, words collected throughout lockdown were patched and hand painted onto outerwear pieces with a sense of spontaneity.
Building on the spectrum of the collection, LN-CC commissioned set designer Julia Dias to create a life-size hand painted music box style plinth, before inviting London-based filmmaker and frequent collaborator Ed fenwick to shoot a short film that revolved around a fantastical sense of regaining control of everyday life. With a playful nod to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’s Doll on a Music Box scene, Liza and Noah break free of their boxed reality and spring to life. Whatever your current reality, we can all relate to this fantasy. Powered by self-expression and collection creativity, tomorrow will be better.
Director Ed Fenwick, @edfenwick
Set Design Julia Dias, @juliadiasstudio
Hair Charles Stanley, @cmstanley13
Make-up Charlie Murray, @charliemurray
Models Liza Keane, @ihatelizakeane. Noah Spain
Music Lung Dart